Sweat dripping off brows, the relentless sun beating down, driving all who venture outside to seek shelter and shade. Not so for the multitudes that did brave the heat and descended on this past weekends NPPL Chicago Open at CPX Sports in Joliet, Illinois.
This epic installment of the 2nd leg of the NPPL Series showed signs of promise and growth in the sport. “I am really excited with the scenario and tournament world coming together in a single event. Its great to see the brothers in arms coming together like this in our sport. While last years Chicago Open was a great event, this year we have an increase of 12 more teams over and above the teams that participated last year showing growth for the NPPL as a league. CPX Sports takes real good care of us, overall it is promising for growth for the industry” mentioned NPPL President Mike Pev Peverill.
Several exciting matches had onlookers at the edge of their seats. Sacramento XSV made it to Sunday but fell short in a do or die situation versus Edmonton Impact. The final game saw XSV need to make the scramble up the field to hang the flag in 16 seconds, the very game that saw the Huntington Beach winners knocked out of the race to the finish.
Unfortunately for Uprising, the team racked up numerous penalties thereby impacting their attempt and falling short of placing in the top four. Distortion took Dynasty downtown figuratively speaking in some particularly aggressive matches. In one match Damage took enough penalties that all players were eliminated in game getting Explicit another point in the race to. As that one played out it was Explicit eventually sending Damage homeÂ with a fourth place spot having been eliminatedÂ 4-2.
San Francisco Explicit has come a long way in a couple of seasons. With the likes of Tyler Harmon, Marcello Margot and Chris Lasoya as recent additions, the solid roster saw this team make a real run for the trophy. In one particularly exciting round, it was Lasoya that raced down the Dorito side eliminating three opponents to take the round and move on. This would be one match that the Catshack deems one of the “plays of the day” Later on in the day crowds were entertained as Lasoya locked horns with David Bains in a one for one elimination. . Marcello Margot and Tyler Harmon both worked the snake and on several occasions dominated matches with excellent team work. Also worthy of mention was some super good aggressive plays on the part of Howe, OuiMet and Stilwill.
“Very few glitches aside from some tempers flaring in the uncomfortable and sweltering heat, games have been fantastic and competitions so close with at least half being forced into overtime” mentioned new league Commissioner Tony Mineo.
Edmonton Impact had some tough games but came out swinging with some great moves. A couple years ago at a CXBL event Impact owner Bart Yachimec mentioned to the Catshack Reports how Justin Cornell would be one to watch as a young up and comer into the pro circuits, Cornell certainly showed that he has come into his own as a pro in Chicago. Both Zane Yachimec and Montressor also proved their worth rounding out a roster of real contenders.
In the first round of the finals to determine first and second finish it was Infamous versus Impact. Impacts Chad George dominated the snake side and Montressor flew right up the middle to get the point and draw first blood. Drew Templeton promptly came back and blew the next game wide open tying it up 1 to 1. Impact came back to take the next point as the battle became a tug o war with neither side wishing to see defeat in some very fierce competition. Finally the entirety was thrust clean into overtime with a 3 vs 3 to determine the top dog. In the final moment Nicky Cuba single handedly took out all three of the three members of Impact to clinch the win and the trophy for this years winner LA Infamous. He raised his arms in the air in victory as the crowd roared their approval.
Certainly onlookers got their moneys worth as this years Chicago Open supplied paintball goodness and entertainment for all who were present. This leg was drama free and while refreshing it was at the same time disappointing not to have something to really set the community abuzz (and potentially caught on film). Perhaps the next NPPL at Pevs Paintball will be more forthcoming in that department.
Special thanks to both the Empire Evil and Planet Eclipse Tech Crews for allowing the Catshack to stage out of the Tech tents and supplying much needed H2O.
Congratulations to LA Infamous on a well earned win followed by Impact, Explicit and Damage sliding into 4th place.
For all the Catshack photos please be patient as they are going up at paintballphotography.com. With Gary currently returning from Russia, it may be another day or two that all the photos will be uploaded and put up on the site, please standby.
For the Catshack epic video of Chicago NPPL please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5pomCN_ZDE&feature=youtu.be… yes we even caught that final winning moment all on film, don’t forget to rate and subscribe while your there!